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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2012, 04:36 PM
fightlivefree fightlivefree is offline
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U-Haul Trailer Hitch problems

I bought a 10,000 pound trailer hitch from U-Haul and had it installed in Bangore, ME four years ago. It was rusting pretty badly so I took it off and had it sandblasted. I was looking at the 9/16 inch holes drilled on the truck frame and noticed they were misaligned on the right side and had short edge margin. One bolt hole had no edge margin. It was 1/4 off the frame. The other two on the right side had 1/4 inch edge margin. Not safe.

The problem is that U-Haul installed the hitch improperly and the holes need to be welded up and redrilled in the proper location. Only problem is the hole are 1 inch away from the rear gas tank and nobody wants to touch it. U-Haul is giving me the run around about fixing it.

Any suggestion? I will post pictures shorly.

Regards,
Larry

Last edited by fightlivefree; 10-27-2012 at 04:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2012, 04:51 PM
norfolknova norfolknova is offline
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If it were me welding the holes up I would use a piece of 14ga or 16ga sheet metal and hold up between where I am welding and the gas tank of I were worried about sparks hitting the gas tank.

If it were my truck I would get a piece of 1/8" or 3/16" flat stock the width of the lower part of the frame rail and make it longer than the hitch mounting length and bolt that on the top part of the lower frame rail and then weld the old bolt holes up. This will add extra strength were the frame rail may become brittle from welding and if there was any flexing from the poorly mounted hitch.

Glad you found it now instead of while towing a heavy load and having a failure.

Matt
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2012, 05:41 PM
fightlivefree fightlivefree is offline
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Adding a doubler

Yeah Matt, I think your're right. I probably should add a doubler plate the thickness of the frame past the bolt holes just to keep any cracks from spreading.

I want to see what U-Haul will do for me. Now I know that none of the U-Haul workers are capable of fixing this problem, so I would have to go to a certified mechanic and be reimbursed from U-Haul, but I have to get approval from them first.

Thanks for the comment.

Regards,
Larry

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Originally Posted by norfolknova View Post
If it were me welding the holes up I would use a piece of 14ga or 16ga sheet metal and hold up between where I am welding and the gas tank of I were worried about sparks hitting the gas tank.

If it were my truck I would get a piece of 1/8" or 3/16" flat stock the width of the lower part of the frame rail and make it longer than the hitch mounting length and bolt that on the top part of the lower frame rail and then weld the old bolt holes up. This will add extra strength were the frame rail may become brittle from welding and if there was any flexing from the poorly mounted hitch.

Glad you found it now instead of while towing a heavy load and having a failure.

Matt
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2012, 05:44 PM
danr1 danr1 is offline
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Yea pictures would be helpful, pictures of the frame and the hitch itself.

And before you mess with it yourself I'd suggest sending good clear pictures to U haul with a letter exactly outlining the problem, suggesting in closing you'll post them on the WWW and show them to everyone and anyone wants to see them, unless of course they offer to make it right and fix it no cost to you.

That aside it might prove easier to correct the problem yourself, you know how it is want something done right do it yourself. Simply relocating the hitch slightly fore or aft of the position they bolted it up at, an inch or little better in front or behind those holes would be sufficient and without need to weld up the holes they created.

Adding a gusset plate on top of the frame at each anchor point, piece 2" long x width of top of lower frame flange, 3/8 to 1/2" thick for example, that would increase strength many times over and again without need to weld up the existing holes.
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2012, 07:34 PM
fightlivefree fightlivefree is offline
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Pictures of U-Haul Frame Damage

danr1, yeah I just might do it myself if welding the frame weakens it.

Regards,
Larry

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

http://imageshack.us/a/img525/1927/u...erhitch007.jpg

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...rhitch005.jpg/

Quote:
Originally Posted by danr1 View Post
Yea pictures would be helpful, pictures of the frame and the hitch itself.

And before you mess with it yourself I'd suggest sending good clear pictures to U haul with a letter exactly outlining the problem, suggesting in closing you'll post them on the WWW and show them to everyone and anyone wants to see them, unless of course they offer to make it right and fix it no cost to you.

That aside it might prove easier to correct the problem yourself, you know how it is want something done right do it yourself. Simply relocating the hitch slightly fore or aft of the position they bolted it up at, an inch or little better in front or behind those holes would be sufficient and without need to weld up the holes they created.

Adding a gusset plate on top of the frame at each anchor point, piece 2" long x width of top of lower frame flange, 3/8 to 1/2" thick for example, that would increase strength many times over and again without need to weld up the existing holes.
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2012, 08:01 PM
norfolknova norfolknova is offline
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The only problem with trying to move the hitch forward or backward to miss the old holes is the rear frame cross member rivets. The space between the two rear bolt hole is where the the rivet for the rear cross member has to fall at. If the bolt holes didn't line up with the center of the frame rails on both sides then they installed the wrong hitch. And to put it on that crooked the other sides bolt holes must have been right on the edge where the C channel of the frame rail turns upward. I would definitely send the picks to their Corporate offices. If you do send them send them certified mail return receipt request so they cannot deny getting them if you have to pursue further actions.

Matt
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2012, 09:05 PM
fightlivefree fightlivefree is offline
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The U-Haul attach Brackets not parallel

The person installing the hitch only lined up and attached the driver's side bracket to the frame thinking the other side was parallel, but it wasn't. It must of been dropped on the other side because I measured the hitch bolt distance and found that the center line angle opened up toward the front of the truck. So he drilled the holes without checking if they were on the frame properly.

I will send pictures registered mail, of course. I'm am design engineer so the U-Haul reps or mechanics will not be able to BS me.

The problem was that U-Haul hired morons that don't know a "martillo" from a "clavo."

Regards,
Larry

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolknova View Post
The only problem with trying to move the hitch forward or backward to miss the old holes is the rear frame cross member rivets. The space between the two rear bolt hole is where the the rivet for the rear cross member has to fall at. If the bolt holes didn't line up with the center of the frame rails on both sides then they installed the wrong hitch. And to put it on that crooked the other sides bolt holes must have been right on the edge where the C channel of the frame rail turns upward. I would definitely send the picks to their Corporate offices. If you do send them send them certified mail return receipt request so they cannot deny getting them if you have to pursue further actions.

Matt
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2012, 09:29 PM
norfolknova norfolknova is offline
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UMMMMM, well i don't know what those are either, but I do know enough when installing a hitch to make sure both sides are centered on the frame rails before drilling the holes.

Matt
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2012, 09:56 PM
DPDISXR4Ti DPDISXR4Ti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolknova View Post
The only problem with trying to move the hitch forward or backward to miss the old holes is the rear frame cross member rivets.
I know some people have drilled that rivet out and used that location for the rear-most bolt. I asked about this when I recently installed my hitch - some were okay with the idea, others not. I opted to leave it in place and drill the three holes on each side, but I don't think it would have been a terrible decision to use that location as a bolt hole.

As for the fuel tank concern, how's the condition of the tank? Maybe you've been presented with a good excuse to drop it out and recondition it?
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:34 PM
fightlivefree fightlivefree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPDISXR4Ti View Post

As for the fuel tank concern, how's the condition of the tank? Maybe you've been presented with a good excuse to drop it out and recondition it?

The fuel tank is metal. How would you recondition it? You mean flush it out and clean it?

Larry
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2012, 09:50 AM
DPDISXR4Ti DPDISXR4Ti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fightlivefree View Post
The fuel tank is metal. How would you recondition it? You mean flush it out and clean it?
If you wanted to go all out indeed you could do that. Alternatively, you could just do an external treatment with something like this... The MasterSeries Coating Line & Mastercoat By PM Industries: Headquarters of Mastercoat Rust Preventive Paints and Coatings For Less - Stop Rust Permanently and Get Rid Of the Pits! That's what my "plan" is, assuming I get to it before the tin worm eats through it first!
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:02 AM
2002 F350V10 2002 F350V10 is offline
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get a different brand hitch with bolt holes in a different spot. make a plate to fit above the lower frame rail , as the frame rail on a f150 is very thin to start with
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:18 PM
fightlivefree fightlivefree is offline
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exterior paint tank ?

I'll look into it. Might as fix several things all at once. I have to talk to a garage to see how much they would charge to take out the tank and weld the holes closed on the right side.

Plus I know a sand blasting place that does good work

Thanks,
Larry

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPDISXR4Ti View Post
If you wanted to go all out indeed you could do that. Alternatively, you could just do an external treatment with something like this... The MasterSeries Coating Line & Mastercoat By PM Industries: Headquarters of Mastercoat Rust Preventive Paints and Coatings For Less - Stop Rust Permanently and Get Rid Of the Pits! That's what my "plan" is, assuming I get to it before the tin worm eats through it first!
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:26 PM
fightlivefree fightlivefree is offline
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different trailer hitch?

The idea is, of course, to keep what I have and make U-Haul pay for the fix.They already had me contact an insurance agent. Plus I already had the trailer hitch sand blasted and painted with Eastwood's primer and exterior chassis paint.

If worse comes to worst, I could do as you suggest.

Thanks,
Larry

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002 F350V10 View Post
get a different brand hitch with bolt holes in a different spot. make a plate to fit above the lower frame rail , as the frame rail on a f150 is very thin to start with
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:26 PM
 
 
 
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